In the last year, everyone has been forced to shift priorities. If you’re like many business owners, you are intently focused on pivoting your business to accommodate today’s “new normal”. In fact, you are probably investing so much of your time in trying to retain your customers and generate new cash flow that you barely have time to even think about cybersecurity. The problem is that cybercriminals and hackers know there’s no better time to strike than during a global crisis. In fact, they’re probably working overtime to craft new malware while the rest of us are trying to manage the new normal. With your focus on your business, these cybercriminals are finding new ways into your network so they can steal data and passwords, compromise your clients’ private information, and even demand large ransoms. You can bet hackers are already out in full force right now. We’re seeing how headlines are changing from stories about COVID-19 to accounts of a frenzy of cyber-attacks on small businesses. Here are solutions you can implement during these crazy times to help protect your business data, money, and productivity:
Be more suspicious of incoming e-mails
People are scared, confused, and not as focused as usual which can put your cybersecurity at risk. It’s the perfect time for hackers to send e-mails with dangerous malware and viruses. You probably have received a bunch of COVID-19 focused emails. Always carefully inspect the e-mail and make sure you know the sender. There has already been a CDC gov e-mail address out there that’s not legitimate and has spammed inboxes across the country. Avoid clicking links in the e-mail unless it’s clear where they go. And you should never download an attachment unless you know who sent it and what it is. Communicate these safeguards to everyone on your team, especially if they are working from home.
Ensure your work-from-home computers are secure
Another reason to expect a rise in cyber-attacks during these times is the dramatic increase in employees working from home. Far too many employers won’t think about cybersecurity as their team starts working at the kitchen table. That’s a dangerous precedent. First, make sure your employees and contractors are not using their home computers or devices when working. Second, ensure your work-at-home computers have a firewall that is active and up to date. Finally, your network and data are not truly secure unless your employees utilize a virtual private network (VPN). If you need help in arranging or improving your new work-from-home environment, we would be happy to get your entire team set up. Our goal is always to help your business to thrive with greater cybersecurity and superior technology that improves efficiency.
Improve your password strategy
During crises like this one, your passwords could mean the difference between spending your time working to grow your business and trying to recoup finances and private data that’s been hacked. Make a point now to reevaluate your passwords and direct your team to create stronger passwords. Also, while it’s so convenient to save your passwords in your web browser, it also lessens your security. Because web browsers simply require their own password or PIN to access saved passwords, a skilled hacker can bypass this hurdle. Once they access your saved passwords, they can steal as much as they want!
Instead, you should consider a password manager to keep all of your passwords in one place. These password managers feature robust security. You, your team, and your family have enough to concern yourselves with at the moment. There’s no need to invite in more problems by letting your computer and network security slide during these times. While this coronavirus has negatively affected countless businesses, we are proud to say we are open and continue servicing our customers. If you need additional security advice or would like to have a consultation to discuss how to keep your data safe or how we can help you work more effectively, simply connect with us today.